Leadership is a Conversation (cont)
Groysberg and Slind’s 4 elements of Organisational Conversation
Intimacy – How leaders relate to employees
Leaders must minimize the institutional, attitudinal, sometimes spatial distances between themselves and their employees. Mental or emotional proximity is essential. Leaders must be able to communicate personally and directly – they must value trust and authenticity enabling a move away from top town information flows towards bottom up exchanges of ideas. Conversational intimacy can become manifest in –Gaining trust – this is often difficult to achieve and may mean addressing some topics that feel off limits. Listening well– Leaders need to know when to stop talking and start listening. True attentiveness signals respect for people in all roles/levels of the business.
Interactivity – How leaders use communication channels
Interactions need to be open and fluid rather than closed and directive. Such open, two way dialogues will foster back to back, and face to face interactions which reinforce trust. Leaders can use video and social media tools to facilitate this two way direct, and informal communication. Employees must also have the tools and support to speak up (and where appropriate back)
Inclusion – How leaders develop organization content
This element of organizational conversation focuses on the employees’ role. Personal conversations are equal opportunity endeavors for employees as they allow shared ownership of conversation content. A spirit of inclusion means that engaged employees can create the ideas and content themselves, and can actively participate in organizational messaging. Leaders involve employees in telling their company story, and enable them to act as brand ambassadors, and thought leaders
Intentionality- How leaders convey strategy
Rewarding personal conversations need to be open. However, they should not be aimless. Participants must have a purpose and agenda to what they want to achieve. Intentionality brings a measure of closure to the organizational conversation process. It requires leaders to convey strategic principles by explaining them, and by generating rather than enforcing consent.
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